Vox Sentences: Amazon is done house hunting

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Amazon announces HQ2 will be split between Virginia and New York City; British Prime Minister Theresa May reaches a draft Brexit deal with the EU.


Amazon’s HQ2 to be split between two locations

 Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Amazon has finally found a home — or rather two — for its brand new headquarters: one in Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, and another in Long Island City in Queens, New York. [Vox / Gaby Del Valle]
  • The Wall Street Journal first reported on November 5 that the company had decided to split HQ2 evenly between two cities, a move made to recruit more tech talent that will affect the two communities in a massive way. [WSJ / Laura Stevens and Shayndi Raice]
  • Amazon framed the hunt for its HQ2 site as a national competition, with more than 200 local and state governments submitting proposals to benefit from the $5 billion investment and the 50,000-person workforce the firm promised its new headquarters will employ. [Fortune / Grace Dobush]
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised $1.5 billion in benefits in return for creating 25,000 jobs. At a press conference Tuesday, Cuomo said New York City will give $1.3 billion in tax breaks, too. [Twitter / John Campbell]
  • NYC and DC activists have opposed HQ2 for months. Their ranks were joined by US Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who posted a series of tweets this morning denouncing the tax breaks involved in the deal and questioning whether Queens residents will really benefit from Amazon’s new location. [Vox / Matthew Yglesias]
  • The new HQ2 locations could dramatically reshape the existing neighborhoods. The firm’s past ventures have proven dangerous for opponents of gentrification, and the cities, which are already suffering from homelessness crises and a lack of affordable housing, may see higher rents and congested transit. [Vox / Gaby Del Valle]
  • Amazon also confirmed it’s opening a new office in Nashville, Tennessee, that will act as an “East Coast hub of operations” in conjunction with the new headquarters. [Tennessean]

Britain finally reaches draft Brexit deal with the EU

  • British and European Union officials have finally agreed over the text draft of a Brexit agreement following months of negotiations, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office confirmed Tuesday. [BBC]
  • Ministers will have an opportunity to review a copy before a full cabinet meeting Wednesday afternoon. Their decision will be crucial to May’s tenure at the helm of the United Kingdom, as she’s long hoped to avoid a chaotic and disorderly “no-deal” Brexit. A rejection of the draft might threaten her leadership. [NYT / Stephen Castle]
  • Boris Johnson, a member of the British Parliament who quit as foreign secretary earlier in 2018 over May’s handling of the Brexit deal, said the withdrawal agreement — whose full details he has not yet seen — is “vassal state stuff” and “utterly unacceptable to anyone who believes in democracy.” [Reuters / Kate Holton and Andrew MacAskill]
  • The fraught Brexit negotiations have trailed a rocky path since the UK’s historic 2016 vote to leave the EU, with the status of Northern Ireland remaining a thorny element. Dozens of lawmakers, many from May’s own Conservative Party, have already rejected other deals that were brought to the negotiating table. [NPR / Colin Dwyer]

Miscellaneous

  • CNN sued President Trump following his suspension of correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials. The lawsuit comes after the White House was accused of using a doctored video to claim that Acosta inappropriately placed his hands on a female White House intern. [Mother Jones / Inae Oh]
  • Singer-songwriter John Mayer told Complex that he quit drinking after he suffered through a six-day hangover following rapper Drake’s 30th birthday party. [Complex / Joe La Puma]
  • The last season of the epic series Game of Thrones finally has a release date. HBO announced Tuesday the final season will air in April 2019, and teased the finale with a new trailer. [EW / James Hibberd]
  • Four people in Vladivostok, Russia, dressed up as a bus in an attempt to cross a bridge that is closed to pedestrians. [Twitter Moments]

Verbatim

“Displacement is not community development. Investing in luxury condos is not the same thing as investing in people and families. Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life.” [US Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voices her constituents’ concerns over Amazon’s announcement that part of HQ2 will be located in Queens / Fast Company]


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